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Press Release

ASHP Foundation Awards Grants to Probe Pharmacist's Role in Improving Immunization Rates Among Elderly

The ASHP Foundation's advocacy program, "Protecting Our Elderly: Pharmacists as Immunization Advocates," has expanded into a research phase. Three researchers have been awarded grants to conduct studies on implementing measures to improve immunization rates among the elderly and the impact of health-system pharmacists in these interventions. The program, which is a comprehensive initiative aimed at improving adult immunization rates across the country and enhancing the role of the health-system pharmacists in making sure seniors receive vaccines, is guided by an advisory committee of practitioners with expertise in immunizations and related issues. The Merck Vaccine Division, Merck & Co is the initiative's funding sponsor.

The recipients of the grants are: 

  • "Impact of incorporating immunizations as a routine element of critical pathways." Proposal submitted by Jill Robke, Pharm.D., Mark Woods, Pharm.D., FASHP, Saint Luke's Hospital, Saint Luke's-Shawnee Mission Health System, Kansas City, Missouri. 
  • "Use of computer-based technology to assist pharmacists in improving adult immunization rates in inpatient and outpatient settings." Principle investigator: Rex W. Force, Pharm.D., BCPS, Idaho State University, Department of Family Medicine, Pocatello, Idaho. 
  • "A multidisciplinary and multi-step approach to improving influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in elderly and high risk patients within an integrated healthcare system." Cindy I. Spiegel, R.Ph., University Hospital Medical Center, Stony Brook, N.Y.

Results of the research projects will be available beginning in mid-2000. "Protecting Our Elderly" also includes education and training, and information resources components. The comprehensive program, which is the first of its kind for the ASHP Foundation, is being managed in part by ASHP Advantage, a business unit of ASHP designed to provide specialized continuing education services. 

The ASHP Research and Education Foundation was established in 1968 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. The mission of the Foundation is to foster research, educational, and consensus-development activities that enable health-system pharmacists to expand their capacity to help people make the best use of medicines. The Foundation gives priority to programs that will have a high impact on improving the public health.